Author Topic: The divine office in parish life  (Read 541 times)

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Offline platypus

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The divine office in parish life
« on: August 13, 2019, 08:34:58 PM »
After my comment on Sacrosanctum Concilium, it occurred to me to ask a question of the Catholics here: do any of your parish churches celebrate services from the divine office, such as vespers on Saturday night? And if not, are there any groups of parishioners who get together to celebrate the services outside the parish?

There was a Missionaries of Charity convent attached to my RC parish growing up, and they prayed the full cycle of daily services. Laypeople were allowed to join them for vespers, though sadly there wasn't much room in the small classroom where they prayed. I went a couple times, to see what being a nun is like rather than out of any understanding of what vespers is.

As far as I know none of the parishes in my diocese celebrated the divine office. The priests did it on their own, as did a small handful of laypeople. The OCA was my first introduction to the there being parish church services besides Mass and stations of the cross. But I know some customs can vary wildly from diocese to diocese, or country to country.

Xavier, I know you've mentioned attending an SSPX church before. Did they use the any parts of the divine office as a parish service?

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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: The divine office in parish life
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 09:07:42 PM »
The parish I attended in Virginia read Vespers in the Ordinary Form on Sunday evening before the evening Mass. It was simply read, neither chanted nor accompanied by singing. Occasionally, they hosted a Solemn Vespers in the Extraordinary Form with a professional choir.

The only other parish I've been affiliated with that did any Divine Office was the cathedral in Birmingham, AL. The RCIA group would say Compline together after the class, until the then-rector insisted they switch to the Rosary. ::)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 09:08:00 PM by MalpanaGiwargis »
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Offline WPM

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Re: The divine office in parish life
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 10:08:36 PM »
Morning ~ Noon ~ Evening.

Offline platypus

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Re: The divine office in parish life
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 11:35:35 AM »
The parish I attended in Virginia read Vespers in the Ordinary Form on Sunday evening before the evening Mass. It was simply read, neither chanted nor accompanied by singing. Occasionally, they hosted a Solemn Vespers in the Extraordinary Form with a professional choir.

That's very cool!

The only other parish I've been affiliated with that did any Divine Office was the cathedral in Birmingham, AL. The RCIA group would say Compline together after the class, until the then-rector insisted they switch to the Rosary. ::)

That's too bad; did he give a reason for the switch?
"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8

Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: The divine office in parish life
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 11:55:26 AM »
The parish I attended in Virginia read Vespers in the Ordinary Form on Sunday evening before the evening Mass. It was simply read, neither chanted nor accompanied by singing. Occasionally, they hosted a Solemn Vespers in the Extraordinary Form with a professional choir.

That's very cool!

The only other parish I've been affiliated with that did any Divine Office was the cathedral in Birmingham, AL. The RCIA group would say Compline together after the class, until the then-rector insisted they switch to the Rosary. ::)

That's too bad; did he give a reason for the switch?

Not to my knowledge. My guess is that it was that he was of a particular stripe of Catholic that believes the way things were done when Pius XII was pope is the way things ought always to be done. The pious Catholics he knew said the Rosary, not Compline, and so those in RCIA should learn that. Just my guess.
Woe is me, that I have read the commandments,
   and have become learned in the Scriptures,
and have been instructed in Your glories,
   and yet I have become occupied in shameful things!

(Giwargis Warda, On Compunction of Soul)

Offline Xavier

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Re: The divine office in parish life
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 09:01:09 AM »
I love the Traditional Divine Office because the atmosphere is so prayerful and reverent. The complete Office is always sung or chanted in Latin. I believe this obtains greatest graces for the Church, and also helps those who are serious about religious life prepare well for it. Thus, as posted elsewhere, we see a Carmelite Order of Nuns do very well, whenever they restored reverence, solemnity and Tradition.

Priests lead the Office in Church, for Matins, Lauds, Sext and Compline. Seminarians join in, and other faithful are encouraged to do so also. Anyone can attend, and everyone is invited to participate. From my brief observations (I was there for only a short time last year in the Priory Parish last year, around Corpus Christi) it is not as well attended as daily Mass, unfortunately, but a fair number do turn up.

Then the Rosary is prayed in the Parish separately at another time, and for that children from the school and orphanage nearby also come. I think, especially if Priests are absent, Monks and Nuns especially could take the lead in assuring the complete Office is performed at every third hour, as that is a critical part of their vocation. And if children are encouraged to participate regularly in them, this would not only form them well for their own Christian life whatever path they take, but also attract many of them to religious life.
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Offline platypus

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Re: The divine office in parish life
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2019, 02:43:28 PM »
That is good to hear, Xavier!
"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8